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The Pope, The Church and Condoms

Though we have been a little quiet here lately on Of Sound Mind and Spirit, we couldn't head into the holiday without a post about the recent controversy over the Pope's statements.  The mainstream media's reaction to the story would have the casual reader believe the Catholic Church has contradicted it's longtime position on human sexuality.  Pope Benedict's comments are much more nuanced and complex than that.

First thing we know is to not accept any story from the AP at face value.  So when you read a headline screaming,
"Pope says some condom use 'first step' of morality" you should immediately want to find the Pope's actual comments on condoms and read them for yourself.  You may also want to read the Vatican's clarification.

Then head over to read
Thomas Peters at for an in-depth discussion with links to others including Archbishop Chaput.  In "Condoms, Consistency and the Vatican's Crisis of (mis)Communication" Peters sums up the discussion by pointing out, 
"the pope has not “softened” the Church’s teaching on condoms by talking about the hope we can have that someone’s decision to make a disordered act less immediately physically harmful to their sexual partner may be a first step towards someone’s eventual conversion."
Lisa Graas makes the best analogy I've seen to clarify and explain the Pope's comments.  AIDS, Condoms, and Catholicism: The Perils of the Pluralistic Society lays out the current controversy in an easy to comprehend and understand manner that helps us all. For further analysis and discussion read her post entitled, "Some Big Change from the Pope on Condom Use?"

I don’t agree with the critics saying the Catholic faithful are "explaining away the Pope's true comments.”  Personally, after reading the headlines and then reading the Pope's actual comments, I understood what he was maybe inartfully trying to explain.  In my mind the media is showing their anti-Catholic bias by putting forth an intellectually dishonest analysis of the Pope's comments.
Shelly and I are honored to be receiving a copy of the Pope's new book,
Light of the World: The Pope, The Church and The Signs of The Times, in which the controversial comments appear.  Watch for our review after December 3rd.

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